Accuracy in Media

On Friday, during a discussion of the relationship between President Obama and Mitt Romney, Chris Matthews told guests Erin McPike of RealClearPolitics and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown that he thought Romney showed disdain and arrogance for deciding to run for president against Obama:

I thought the decision by Romney to run for president, even as this president had not yet even been inaugurated, Mayor, showed a certain kind of disdain. I don’t want to get in to too much into his head on this –– I don’t like the look of it –– but he seemed to think, well, this guy could be beat by me. You know, I’m going to beat him — even though I’m sort of not really this first-rate politician — I can beat this guy, struck me as well — an arrogant point of view while already gearing up his campaign.

Matthews then asked Brown if he had any thoughts on what he just said, noting that he still thought that Romney had that arrogance.

Brown said that he thought that Romney and many of the Republicans didn’t think that Obama should have been the President from the day he was elected, and they started to try and figure out how to undo that from the day of his inauguration.

I’ve got a message for Mitt Romney –– I wouldn’t do any head games with Barack Obama. I don’t think he’s smart enough, I don’t think he’s clever enough and he clearly has no street about him at all.

Since when is deciding to run for political office arrogant? Campaigns for the next election should and often do begin shortly after an election. That’s what good candidates do. It gives them an edge in organizing and fundraising, and in the case of running against Obama, capitalizes on the frustration and disappointment many voters felt after he was elected.

If Matthews wants to talk about arrogance, then he should talk about Obama, who was a freshman U.S. senator with virtually no track record in the Senate and a thin resume as an Illinois State senator to boot. Isn’t it arrogant, for someone who was as inexperienced as Obama to consider running for the presidency?

Romney was far from arrogant in this case, but Matthews’ attacks shows that he is still concerned that, despite the mainstream media all but falling over for Obama, he hasn’t been able to ensure a victory in November. That isn’t great news when you are the incumbent.

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